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Harrell, Cos ten J. 

The Methodist Church in Durham 










Mrs. J. P. Breedlove 




The Methodist Church 
in Durham 





19 15 


Julian S. Carr, Chairman 

J. E. Stagg, Vice-Chairman 

Costen J. Harreei,, Secretary 

J. L. Cuninggim 

A. McCuixen 

J. H. Southgate 

H. M. North 

R. L. Flowers 

G. B. Starring 

Y. E. Smith 

J. A. DahEy 

R. P. Kereey 

R. E. Atkinson 

D. E. Earnhardt 

L. M. Haw, 

The Methodist Church in Durham 


The history of the Methodist Church throughout 
America reads like a romance. In the year 1760 a 
party of Irish immigrants sailed from Limerick, Ire- 
land, to New York City — then a mere town of a few 
thousand souls. In this company of immigrants who 
were seeking homes in a new land were two persons 
who had been converted under the ministry of Metho- 
dist preachers in Ireland — Mrs. Barbara Heck and 
Phillip Embury. Phillip Embury was by trade a car- 
penter, and in Ireland "had been the class leader of 
their infant Church, and often in their humble chapel 
had ministered to them the word of life." Mrs. Bar- 
bara Heck became greatly concerned over the lack of 
religion among her neighbors, and as a result of her 
persistent effort a little company met in the home of 
Phillip Embury sometime during the year 1766, and 
formed themselves into a Methodist society. From 
this humble beginning the Methodist Church in this 
new land has grown. She has preached the Gospel 
which was committed to her at the first — an all-suffi- 
cient grace for every one. In 1914, a little less than 
one hundred and fifty years after the first society in 
America was formed, the Methodist communicants in 
the United States numbered 7,328,000, and now con- 

6 The Methodist Church in Durham 

stitute the largest Protestant denomination in this 

The societies formed in America soon communicated 
with Rev. John Wesley in England, and from time to 
time he sent preachers to minister to the circuits here. 
In 1771 Rev. Francis Asbury landed in Philadelphia, 
and shortly afterwards was made superintendent of 
the work of the Methodists throughout the colonies. 
A few years later, at the time of the final break be- 
tween the American Methodists and the Church of 
England (the Episcopal Church) he and Thomas Coke 
were ordained the first bishops of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church. 

In 1776 — the year that the Declaration of Independ- 
ence was signed — the North Carolina circuit was 
formed. This circuit embraced the whole of the pres- 
ent state of North Carolina, and three preachers were 
appointed to travel it : Edward Dromgoole, Francis 
Poythress, and Isham Tatum. Dromgoole was born 
in Ireland, and reared in the Roman Catholic Church. 
When a young man he publicly read his withdrawal 
from the Roman Church and joined the Methodists. 
This caused much displeasure among some of his rel- 
atives. He came to America, rendered valiant service 
to the Methodists here, and died in Brunswick County, 
Virginia, in 1835. Francis Poythress was a native of 
Virginia. He inherited a large estate, and when a 
young man was dissipated. He was converted, went 
into the Methodist ministry, and the North Carolina 
Circuit was his first appointment. Isham Tatum was 

The Methodist Church in Durham 7 

also a Virginian. He was a man of rare eloquence, and 
known throughout the country as the "Silver Trump- 
et." Some descendants of Isham Tatum now live in 
Orange County. At the close of the conference year 
nine hundred and thirty communicants were reported 
from the North Carolina circuit. 

The following year the North Carolina Circuit was 
divided into three. The territory lying about Durham 
fell in the New Hope Circuit, named from a creek 
passing through Durham County. The New Hope 
Circuit extended approximately from Raleigh to 
Greensboro, and from the South Carolina line to the 
Virginia line. The preachers came and passed on to 
other fields, new churches were organized, new cir- 
cuits were formed, old circuits were divided — but 
these men were so busy making history that they had 
very little time to write history, and therefore the 
records covering these years are very scant. In 1780 
Bishop Asbury, "the Apostle of American Method- 
ism," passed through this portion of North Carolina. 
From this time until his death he visited the state 
yearly to superintend the work of the Methodist 
Church here, and his journal throws considerable light 
on the conditions prevailing in North Carolina during 
these years and contains a very thrilling account of the 
work of the pioneer Methodist preacher. The follow- 
ing extracts are taken at random from his own account 
of his journeys : 

Sunday, July 23, 1780. We passed Haw River, wide but 
shallow, bad going down and coming up : they took the 

8 The Methodist Church in Durham 

carriage over by hand ; then we had to travel the pathless 
woods and rocks again. After much trouble and fear and 
dejection we came to Taylor's preaching house. I have 
travelled thirty miles, and could not avoid travelling on Sun- 
day, for I had not where to stay. Rode to Brother Beck's : 
he has a gracious wife. 

Monday, July 24th, 1780. Have only time to pray and write 
my journal. Always upon the wing as rides are so long and 
bad roads ; it takes me many hours as in general I walk my 
horse. I crossed Rocky River about ten miles from Haw 
River : it was rocky- sure enough ; it is in Chatham County, 
North Carolina. I can see little else but cabins in these 
parts built with poles ; and such a country as no man ever saw 
for a carriage. I crossed Deep River in a flat boat and the 
poor sinner ferryman swore because I had not a silver shill- 
ing to give him. I rode to friend Hinton's, borrowed a 
saddle, and rode near six miles to get three, as we were lost 
When we came to the place there were about sixty people. 
I spoke. I was glad to get away for some were drunk and 
had their guns in meeting. 

Tuesday, July 25, 17S0. Was engaged in private and family 
prayer for divine protection ; for I dwell as among briars, 
thorns, and scorpions : the people are poor and cruel one to 
another : some families are ready to starve for want of bread, 
while others have corn and rye distilled into poisonous 
whiskey. These are poor Christians. We left our worthy 
friend Hinton's, a kind family, who parted with us in tears. 

Thursday, July 27. 1780. My trials are great: riding twenty 
miles a day or more; rocky roads, poor entertainment, un- 
comfortable lodging; with little rest night or day but thanks 
be to God he keeps me. 

Tuesday, August 1, 1780. Crossed Eno with difficulty — 
the water ran over the foot-board of my carriage. After 
that I rode a stony hilly way about twelve miles. I am this 
day to go toward Hillsborough with reluctance. 

Wednesday, August 2, 1780. Rode seven miles to Hills- 
borough and preached in the house of Mr. Courtney, a 

The Methodist Church in Durham 9 

tavern, to about 200 people on Hosea 10:12, "It is time to seek 
the Lord." They were decent and behaved well : I was much 
animated and spoke loud and long. 

Monday, August 7, 1780. At ten I preached at Lee's chapel 
in Caswell County to about sixty people. The preachers are 
under difficulty here for want of places to study. Most 
places but one room, or if a chamber they cannot live there 
it is so hot. 

Saturday, August 19, 1780. I rode to brother Parish's 
crossed Shoko (Hiko) Creek at the fish trap, a very bad 
ford, occasioned by the late freshet that rose near forty feet. 

Sunday, August 20, 1780. At twelve I preached to about 
five hundred souls, an unawakened people, but the Lord as- 
sisted me greatly. 

Friday, March 7, 1783. I had a large congregation at Hills- 
borough, and there was more attention and solemnity ob- 
servable than formerly. I visited three young men who are 
to die shortly; they wept while I talked and prayed with 
them. I walked to the church [Episcopal] ; it was once 
an elegant building, and still makes a good appearance at a 
distance, but within it is in ruins. The calamities and de- 
structive waste of war have been severely felt in these parts. 
[The Revolutionary war was in progress during these years.] 

Thursday, March 26, 1784. Rode to Hillsborough. The 
snow was deep — the street dirty — my horse sick — the people 
drinking and swearing. I endeavored to preach on "A man 
gaining the whole world" &c. 

Friday, March 10, 1786. I rode once more to Hillsborough, 
where I met a cold reception : I am now satisfied never to 
visit that place again until they have a society formed, con- 
stant preaching, and a desire to see me. O, what a country 
this is! We can but just get food for our horses. I am 
grieved indeed for the sufferings, the sins, and the follies of 
the people. 

Tuesday, March 3, 1800. We had no small race through 
Chatham County to Snipe's. We were lost three times before 

10 The Methodist Church in Durham 

we came to Clark's ferry on Haw River, and had to send a 
boy a mile for the ferryman, and wait a half-hour. 

Wednesday, March 4, 1800. A clear but very cold day. 
We were treated with great respect at the University, by the 
president, Caldwell, and the students, citizens and many of 
the country people. Brother Snethen preached, on, "God 
forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord 
Jesus Christ." When the University is finished I shall take 
notice of it. I stopped to baptize some children and then rode 
on to Massey's. 

Thursday, March 6, 1800. Came to Raleigh the seat of 
government. Preached in the state house. Notwithstanding 
this day was very cold and snowy, we had many people to 
hear. I baptized a child and came that evening to Thomas 

Henry Ward Beecher once said that the Methodist 
circuit rider was the greatest civilizing agency in this 
country during the first years of our history. The 
stories of no adventurers portray more heroic qual- 
ities than these men had. It was men of this mold that 
planted the standards of our church in this section 
a hundred and thirty years ago, and made possible the 
better days in which we live. 

The Methodist Church in Durham 11 


The first Methodist Church in this immediate vicin- 
ity was located on the Raleigh and Hillsboro Road 
about one mile east of Durham, just east of the Wye, 
at a place known as Orange Grove. In 1830 a little 
school was established at this place and a few months 
later a protracted meeting was conducted there by 
Rev. Willis Haynes and Rev. David Nicholson. As a 
result of this meeting a Methodist Church was organ- 
ized with about thirty members. On the 25th of April, 
1832, William R. Herndon, "for the purpose of pro- 
moting religion and education," donated the house and 
an acre of ground to the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
to be used as a house of worship and an Academy. The 
trustees named in the deed are David G. Rencher, 
David Roberts, Willis Roberts, Ezekiel Hailey, John 
W. Hancock, and William R. Herndon. It is stipu- 
lated in the deed that "the said William R. Herndon 
is to act as chairman in all proceedings of said institu- 

For a number of years a school was conducted in 
the church building by John W. Hancock. Among the 
students who attended this school was Mr. M. A. An- 
gier, the first mayor of Durham. About 1835 the 
church building was burned by one Jefferson Dillard, 
an avowed foe of the church and the school. Men in 
the community tracked his horse to the church and to 
his home again, and he was forced to flee to parts un- 
known. The church was rebuilt, services were held 

12 The Methodist Church in Durham 

once a month, and a few persons still live in Durham 
who worshipped there. 

The Orange Grove congregation was the nucleus 
from which sprang Trinity Church. In 1860 the mem- 
bers of the Orange Grove Church, together with some 
Methodists who had moved into this community, erect- 
ed a church building in Durham's, then a little village 
of less than a dozen families. Mr. R. F. Morris do- 
nated an acre of ground at the rear of the present site 
of the First Baptist Church. Mr. William Mangum 
contracted to erect the building for $650, furnishing 
both material and labor. A part of the framing was 
cut and the foundations were laid on the lot now oc- 
cupied by Markham-Stephens Company. Some of the 
leaders in the church then decided that a little grove 
on the Roxboro Road (Cleveland Street) was a more 
desirable location. An acre and a half of ground was 
purchased from Mr. William Green for $150, the 
foundation and framing moved, and a church building 
was erected on the site now occupied by Trinity 
Church. The old church stood a little west of the 
spot where the present building stands. The trustees 
named in the deed are Wm. J. Duke, Archibald 
Nichols, Washington Duke, D. M. Cheek, James 
Stagg, Z. I. Lyon, and John Barbee. The Orange 
Grove Church building was sold to Mr. David Cheek. 
He moved it to a point on the Cheek and Hamlin 
Road, near the Norfolk & Western junction, where it 
has since been used as a dwelling. The house is now 
standing and is owned by Mr. William Hamlin. 

The Methodist Church in Durham 13 

Durham's first Methodist Church was a plain 
country meeting house. The pulpit was originally be- 
tween the two front doors, and a section was railed off 
in the rear for the colored people. Ex-Governor Gra- 
ham and Hon. Henry K. Nash debated the question of 
Secession in this church soon after it was completed. 
During the Civil War the work of the church was 
seriously retarded, the building was badly damaged by 
Sherman's Army, but through these years of privation 
the congregation was at no time without a regular 
minister. Immediately after the war a school was 
taught in the church until a school building could be 
erected for the town. 

In 1866 Durham's was put on the Chapel Hill 
charge, and Rev. R. S. Webb was sent to the circuit. 
The following year Durham's Circuit was formed, con- 
sisting of Durham's, Orange Church, Massey's, Pleas- 
ant Green, Mount Hebron, and Fletcher's Chapel, and 
Mr. Webb was assigned to the newly formed circuit. 
In 1868 he led a fight for prohibition in Durham's, and 
the cause of the prohibitionists was lost by only one 
vote. There was at this time only one house for rent 
in the town, and this was occupied by Mr. Webb. The 
saloon men offered $20.00 more for it than he could 
afford to pay, and he was forced to live at Chapel Hill 
during the last year of his ministry on Durham's Cir- 

Rev. John Tillett served the Durham's Circuit in 
1870 and 1871. Mr. Tillett was a strict disciplinarian, 
and scored in particular the whiskey traffic and horse 

14 The Methodist Church in Durham 

trading. It was his custom to tack notices on the 
streets of the town giving his text for the next Sun- 
day. "At a quarterly meeting held at Old Bethel 
Church about April, 1870, he made complaint in his 
report on the general state of the church that some of 
his members had not been conforming strictly to the 
rules of the discipline. At this some took exception 
and a general discussion ensued." Thirty-one mem- 
bers withdrew and nineteen of these established an 
independent church near Lipscomb's Cross Roads. 
"Enough has been learned from those who were actors 
in these scenes at the time to prove that Brother Tillett 
was conscientious in the administration of the Disci- 
pline and left the church upon a higher plane of piety 
and better prepared than ever for the revival seasons 
which followed." ("The History of Trinity Church," 
James Southgate.) Those who withdrew from the 
church were later restored to its communion. 

Rev. J. J. Renn came to the Durham* circuit in 
1872 and remained until 1875. In 1872 the church 
building was repaired. New pews were installed, and 
the house painted inside and out. General Julian S. 
Carr who had moved to Durham three years before 
built an altar rail about the pulpit, and in person as- 
sisted in repairing the roof. There was during these 
years a grave yard to the east of the church. In 
1875 General Carr purchased two acres of ground a 
half mile from the town for a burying ground, and this 
was the beginning of Maplewood Cemetery. Most of 

* About this time "Durham's" was changed to "Durham." 

The Methodist Church in Durham 15 

the bodies buried about the church were moved to the 
cemetery, though a few still lie under the Sunday- 
School Room, and in the plot of ground about the 
building. In 1876 Trinity was made a station, and 
Rev. W. H. Moore was appointed its pastor. At the 
end of the Conference year Trinity reported 191 mem- 

Rev. F. H. Woods came to Durham in 1879, and 
during his ministry the present Trinity Church build- 
ing was begun. The corner stone was laid in 1880. 
The address was delivered by Judge A. S. Merrimon 
of the North Carolina Supreme Court. The subject 
of his address was "The Influence of Christianity on 
the Mental Interests of the World." The main por- 
tion of the church building was completed during the 
pastorate of Rev. Jesse A. Cuninggim, and was dedi- 
cated on the first Sunday in June, 1881, by Rev. N. H. 
D. Wilson, Presiding Elder of the Durham District. 

The old church building was moved to the spot now 
covered by the parsonage and used foi- a seminary 
until 1893. 

The next most noteworthy events in the history of 
Trinity Church were the meetings held in Parrish 
Warehouse by Rev. Sam P. Jones in 1888 and 1889, 
during the pastorate of Dr. E. A. Yates. During 
these two years 189 persons were received into Trinity 
Church. In 1892 Rev. R. C. Beaman enterprised the 
Sunday school addition. While the construction was 
in progress the congregation worshipped at the court 
house. On the fourth Sunday in January, 1894, dur- 

16 The Methodist Church in Durham 

ing the pastorate of Rev. B. R. Hall, the enlarged 
church and Sunday School rooms were opened, and 
this is Trinity as it is seen today. A few years later, 
after the congregation had raised what funds it could 
the debt incurred was liquidated by the beneficent gift 
of General J. S. Carr. 

For the twenty years following the church has 
grown substantially. The membership in 1894 was 
452 ; in 1914, 900 communicants were reported. In 
a sketch so fragmentary the names of many who have 
valiantly served the church have of necessity been 
omitted ; but her spire rises as testimony to the work of 
hundreds of Methodists who have wrought in this 
community for nearly a century. 

The Methodist Church in Durham \7 


In 1884 Rev. T. A. Boone, pastor of Trinity Church, 
began agitating the matter of dividing the Trinity con- 
gregation, and organizing a church in the western por- 
tion of the town. This move was at first very unpopu- 
lar, but the conviction grew that one Methodist Church 
was not sufficient to minister to the great number of 
people being attracted to Durham. At the fourth 
quarterly conference of Trinity Church in 1885, on 
motion of Rev. A. Walker, the following building com- 
mittee was appointed for "West End Church" : W. 
Duke, J. H. Southgate, J.. W. Gattis, S. A. Thaxton, 
G. W. Burch, A. Wilkerson, J. Ed. Lyon, B. N. Duke, 
and J. S. Lockhart. At this same conference $1625 
was secured in pledges for the erection of the new 
church. Expansion was the order of the day — in ad- 
dition to the committee named for "West End Church" 
a building Committee was named for "East End 
Church" — afterwards known as Carr's. Methodism's 
expansion in Durham dates from this quarterly confer- 
ence. At the Annual Conference which convened the 
same month Rev. Amos Gregson was appointed to 
"West and East End Mission." At this time there was 
no church organization at either point. 

Memorial Church had its real beginning on the first 
Sunday in May, 1886, when a Sunday School was 
organized in one of the packing rooms of Duke's fac- 
tory. Dr. W. S. Creasy, who was the pastor of Trin- 
ity Church and a leading spirit in the forward move- 

18 The Methodist Church in Durham 

ment, was present and assisted in organizing the Sun- 
day School. Among the officers chosen were Superin- 
tendent, V. Ballard, Assistant Superintendent, C. C. 
Taylor, and Secretary and Treasurer, B. N. Duke. 
The school began work with a crops of twenty-four 
teachers. Mr. C. A. Jordan had a class of ten young 
men. Six of these were afterwards stewards in the 
church, and one, Rev. W. B. Lee, is now a missionary 
in Brazil. A few days after the organization of the 
Sunday School Mr. B. L. Duke donated a lot on the 
corner of Main and Gregson Streets, and work on the 
church building was immediately begun. 

On October 10, 1886, Main Street Church was 
formally organized. Seventeen persons brought their 
letters from Trinity, eighteen brought letters from 
other places, and ten came into the church on pro- 
fession of faith, making a total membership of forty- 
five. A number who were among these first still live 
in Durham and hold their membership at Memorial. 
Almost immediately after the church had been organ- 
ized Dr. W. S. Creasy conducted a three week's meet- 
ing for the pastor, and many others were added to 
the membership. 

In 1887 Bishop Charles B. Galloway visited Dur- 
ham, and on the same day dedicated Main Street and 
Carr Churches. The dedicatory service was held at 
Main Street at 11 in the morning, at Carr at 3 in the 
afternoon, and in the evening the Bishop spoke at 
Trinity. At this last service more than $6,000 was 
raised to liquidate the debt on the two buildings just 

The Methodist Church in Durham 19 

erected. In 1890 an addition was added to the rear of 
the Main Street Church, and a little later a Sunday 
School Annex was built and presented to the church 
by Mr. B. N. Duke. 

The removal of Trinity College from Randolph 
County to Durham was the next signal event in the 
growth of Main Street Church. Methodism through- 
out the city has profited by the presence of the college, 
but Main Street has drawn the larger part of the col- 
lege community. The college grounds and buildings 
were dedicated to "God and humanity" on October 
12th, 1892 — just four hundred years after the dis- 
covery of America by Columbus. The following ac- 
count of the dedicatory services appeared in the Trin- 
ity Archive : 

"Trinity College has been set apart for the great work 
for which she was intended. The ceremonies took place on 
October 12th, and surely the participants could not have 
celebrated the discovery of America in a more appropriate 
manner. The dedicatory sermon was preached at 11 o'clock 
A. M. in the Main Street Church, by Dr. Hoss, [now Bishop 
Hoss] of the Nashville Advocate. At 2 P. M. the parade 
formed in the city square and marched to the park. The 
city band came first and was followed by the different fra- 
ternities, military company, and a throng of citizens. In 
front of the main building the column was met by the faculty, 
students and visitors. The whole crowd then proceeded to the 
Inn, where Captain Parrish delivered a warm address of 
welcome to which Dr. Crowell, the President, responded. 
Mr. Washington Duke then formally presented the Main 
Building and the Inn to the Board of Trustees. Next, Hon. 
J. S. Carr, in a very neat and appropriate speech, presented 
Trinity Park. Dr. Crowell presented the Technological Build- 

20 The Methodist Church in Durham 

ing, erected in honor of Laura K. Crowell. Dr. F. S. Reid 
presented the furniture in behalf of the donors. The board 
of trustees made suitable acknowledgment of the various 
donations through their spokesman, Dr. E. A. Yates." 

In 1894 Dr. John C. Kilgo was made President of 
the College, and under his leadership it became the 
leading educational institution of Southern Method- 
ism. In 1910 Dr. W. P. Few became President. 
The College enrolled in 1914 the largest number of 
students in its history. 

In a few years it became evident that the large op- 
portunities offered Main Street Church demanded a 
more adequate equipment. In 1906, during the pas- 
torate of Rev. T. A. Smoot, a building committee was 
appointed to select a new site and erect a new church 
building. A lot was purchased on Chapel Hill and 
Duke Streets, and Memorial Church was built as it 
now stands. This is the most costly church building 
in the North Carolina Conference. The lot and build- 
ing represent an outlay of $165,000. The congrega- 
tion contributed liberally to the undertaking. The 
large gifts of Mr. B. N. Duke and Mr. J. B. Duke 
made possible a church plant so expensive. The corner 
stone was laid in 1907, and the church was dedicated 
on the first Sunday in June, 1914, by Bishop John C. 

Memorial Church has had a most remarkable 
growth. Organized less than thirty years ago with 45 
members, it has today a membership of 942. 

The Methodist Church in Durham 21 

Carr Church. Carr Church is a twin sister to Me- 
morial. The church had its beginning in a Sunday 
School conducted on the fourth floor of the East Dur- 
ham Cotton Mill by Mr. W. H. Branson. In 1885 the 
Conference appointed Rev. Amos Gregson to serve 
this community, together with the "West End Mis- 
sion" (Main Street). The church was built and 
organized in 1886, and named in honor of Gen. J. S. 
Carr who contributed the larger portion of the funds 
for its erection. The Conference in 1886 appointed 
Rev. J. H. Hall, now Presiding Elder of the Rocking- 
ham District, pastor of the church. The building has 
since been enlarged, and the congregation has recently 
had under consideration the erection of a new building 
on a more favorable site. 

Mangum Street. A notable worker in the organiza- 
tion of Methodist Churches in Durham has been Rev. 
R. Hibberd, a local preacher in Memorial Church. Five 
congregations have sprung out of Sunday Schools con- 
ducted by him at various points in the city. 

During the latter part of the eighties Mr. Hibberd 
organized a Sunday School in a vacant store at Five 
Points in North Durham. A little later a lot was 
purchased where Mangum Street Church now stands, 
and the Sunday School was conducted in an old 
dwelling. A few years afterwards a chapel was 
erected on the lot by Mr. B. N. Duke. A mission Sun- 
day school was continued until December, 1903, when 
the church was organized during the pastorate of Rev. 
H. E. Lance. The church was enlarged in 1906 while 

22 The Methodist Church in Durham 

Rev. E. M. Hoyle was pastor. The congregation has 
recently enterprised a new church building on Trinity 

West Durham. In 1894 the Conference appointed 
Rev. R. W. Bailey, to "West End," a mission point 
under Main Street Church. The church was organized 
in 1895, and on December 19th, 1896, Mr. B. N. Duke 
donated to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, a 
lot and church building. On two occasions the build- 
ing has been enlarged. The membership has grown 
from 133 in 1896 to 462 in 1914. 

Pearl Mill. Pearl Mill Church had its beginning in 
a Methodist Sunday School organized in the Presby- 
terian Chapel. In 1898 Mr. B. L,. Duke donated a site 
on Trinity Avenue, a building was erected and the 
church was organized. It was originally called Cun- 
inggim's Chapel in honor of Rev. Jesse A. Cuninggim 
who was Presiding Elder of the Durham District and 
a leading spirit in founding this church. 

Branson Church. The nucleus for Branson Church 
came from a little Sunday School conducted by Rev. 
R. Hibberd in various homes in a portion of Edge- 
mont, known as "Little Washington." The church 
was organized about 1900, and named in honor of W. 
H. Branson. It was originally connected with Carr 
Church, but since 1904 has been a separate charge. 

Lakezvood Church. It is a noteworthy fact that 
every Methodist Church in Durham, except Trinity, 

The Methodist Church in Durham 23 

had its beginning in a Sunday School. A Methodist 
Sunday School was conducted for two or three years 
in the Lakewood School building. In 1908 Rev. H. 
M. North held a meeting there, and a church was 
organized. In 1911 during the pastorate of Rev. L,. 
D. Hayman a church building was erected. 

The expansion of the Methodist Church in Dur- 
ham has been continuous until every portion of the 
city has been occupied. The task that now lies before 
us is the development of the territory which we cover. 

24 The Methodist Church in Durham 


It is evident from the foregoing sketch of the history 
of Methodism in Durham that her growth has been 
well-nigh as remarkable as the growth of the city. 
In 1876, the first year after Trinity was made a sta- 
tion, 191 communicants were reported. Every ten 
years since that time the Methodist membership has 
more than doubled itself. 

Durham has been rightly called a church going 
town. In its religious development other denomina- 
tions have played a signal part, and have likewise 
shown remarkable growth. The membership reported 
from the respective denominations (white) for 1914 
is as follows : 

Methodist 3215 

Baptist 3088 

Presbyterian 875 

Episcopal 585 

Christian 180 

In 1876 the property owned by the Methodist Church 
in Durham was valued at $3,000. In 1914 — less than 
forty years afterwards — her churches and parsonages 
were valued at $301,000. If the holdings of Trinity 
College be added to this, the amount totals $3,075,000. 
The Methodist Church has larger investments in Dur- 
ham than in any city in North Carolina. 

The first secret of the success of the Methodist 
Church wherever she has gone has been the Gospel 

The Methodist Church in Durham 25 

proclaimed from her pulpits. Her ministry has preach- 
ed an all-sufficient grace for every man. "Whosoever 
will may come into the Kingdom, and all may know 
when they get there." 

The other secret of her success has been the com- 
pactness of her organization. It may be said of the 
Methodist Church as of no other, 

"Like a mighty army moves the Church of God." 
The individual churches have not stood as separate 
units, but through effective organization they have 
worked as one. Unity of effort — connectionalism — 
is an all-necessary element in her growth in the future 
as it has been in the past. 

The Durham City Board of Church Extension has 
set about to unify the Methodist forces in the city. 
The Methodist Church in Durham has a great oppor- 
tunity as well as a great heritage. The immediate 
task that lies before the Board is to strengthen the 
churches that lie in our suburbs. In many respects 
Durham may be called the capital of North Carolina 
Methodism. Here is situated our greatest institution 
of learning, here we have rare resources, and great 
things are expected of us. The eyes of the church are 
upon us to see if we will measure up to our heritage 
and our opportunity. 


The Methodist Church in Durham 






J. B. Alford 


3ro Circuit 


J. W. Tinnin 


Dro Circuit 


Wm. M. Welsh 

Hillsboro Circuit 


Wm. M. Jordan 

Orange Circuit 


R. S. Webb 



John Tillett 



J. J. Renn 



W. H. Moore 



W. H. Call 



J. H. Woods 



J. A. Cuninggim 



T. A. Boone 



B. C. Phillips* 



W. S. Creasy 



E. A. Yates 



R. J. Moorman 



R. C. Beaman 



B. R. Hall 



J. N. Cole 



W. C. Norman 



R. C. Beaman 



G. T. Adams 



R. C. Craven 



A. McCullen 







Amos Gregson 


and East End Miss. 


Amos Gregson 

Main Street 


N. M. Journey 

Main Street 


R. F. Bumpass 

Main Street 


F. A. Bishop 

Main Street 

* Mr. Phillips died early in the year and the year was filled out by 
Rev. W. S. Davis. 

The Methodist Church in Durham 



W. B. Doub 

Main Street 


G. A. Oglesby 

Main Street 


A. P. Tyer 

Main Street 


W. L. Cuninggim 

Main Street 


T. A. Smoot 

Main Street 


M. Bradshaw 



G. F. Smith 



L. P. Howard 



H. M. North 






Amos Gregson 


J. H. Hall 


L. L. Johnson ' 


L. L. Johnson 


Oliver Ryder 


L. L. Johnson 


N. E. Coltrane 


D. N. Caviness 


D. N. Caviness 


F. B. McCall 


M. D. Giles 


J. A. Dailey 


A. L. Ormond 


G. B. Starling 


West and East End Mission 

Carr's Chapel 

Carr Church and North Dur. 

Carr Church 

Carr Church 

Carr Church 

Carr Church 

Carr Church 

Carr Church and Branson 

Carr Church and Branson 

Carr Church 

Carr Church 

Carr Church 

Carr Church 







W. Bailey 

West End 



W. Bailey 

West Durham 



G. Langston 

West Durham 



G. Langston 


Durham and Cuninggim 



P. Jerome 


Durham and Cuninggim 

28 The Methodist Church in Durham 

1905 J. H. McCracken W. Durham and Cuninggim 

1906-08 J. H. McCracken West Durham 

1909-10 W. P. Constable West Durham 

1911-13 A. J. Parker West Durham 

1914- J. A. Dailey West Durham 

Date Due 


m ? 1 

. JL ■ 

OEC 21 "76 

JUL 8 

OCT 2 4 


OCT 1 9 

r.r-r 3 3 jg 


teflitv *• i 


rati lord = 


Syracuse, N. Y. 
Stockton, Cal 

Duke University Libraries 


NOV 'i\M